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View different culture before judging Suarez

This is neither to defend nor support Liverpool footballer Luis Suarez, for I know not what he allegedly said.

But, as a Spanish-speaker who spent many years in Latin America, I should point out that South Americans give themselves nicknames often based on the variations of the mix of their origins, essentially, Spanish or Portuguese, indigenous (Mayan etc) and "black" (of African slave origin).

Negrito (little negro) is a highly-common nickname in South America, used between friends and most often a term of endearment. El Negro is also prevalent, rarely used with malice, merely based on the fact that someone is of a darker skin than average.

At the other end of the spectrum, Guero (blondie) is often used to describe men who are not necessarily blond, but have a bigger proportion of European features. Moreno (Brownie) is another common nickname for someone with darker skin. El Chino (The Chinaman) is widely used as a nickname for someone with vaguely Asian features.

I do hope those judging Suarez have done their research and did not fall into the morass of political correctness mixed with arrogant ignorance of other cultures.

PHIL DAVISON

By e-mail

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